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Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers

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  • Franziska Ohnsorge
  • Daniel Trefler

Abstract

The two models of international trade with developed factor markets -- Heckscher-Ohlin and Specific Factors -- both suffer significant defects. For example, their predictions about the patterns of domestic production and international trade are for the most part either indeterminate or uselessly complex. The problem with these models is that the supply of factors to an industry is either perfectly elastic or perfectly inelastic. Using a model in which heterogeneous workers sort across industries we eliminate this problem. The result is a multi-good model with sharp predictions about (1) the domestic pattern of production, (2) North-North and North-South trade, (3) the demand for protection, (4) the determinants of domestic income distribution, and (5) the effect of trade on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2004. "Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers," NBER Working Papers 10959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10959
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    Cited by:

    1. Costinot, Arnaud, 2009. "On the origins of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-264, April.
    2. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri & Greg C. Wright, 2016. "Immigration, Offshoring, and American Jobs," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 4, pages 117-151 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1165-1192, July.
    4. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 43-64, May.
    5. Inga Heiland & Wilhelm Kohler, 2013. "Heterogeneous Workers, Trade, and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 4387, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Mine Zeynep Senses & Pravin Krishna, 2009. "International Trade and Labor Income Risk in the United States," 2009 Meeting Papers 471, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2007. "Political Stasis or Protectionist Rut? Policy Mechanisms for Trade Reform in a Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2070, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Costinot, Arnaud, 2007. "Heterogeneity and Trade," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4ns3899g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    9. Cheng Te Lee, 2012. "The Impact of Talent Distribution on Trade," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2198-2206.
    10. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2011. "A Sorted Tale of Globalization: White Collar Jobs and the Rise of Service Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 17559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. ICHIDA Toshihiro, 2015. "Trade-offs in Compensating Transfers for a Multiple-skill Model of Occupational Choice," Discussion papers 15083, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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